What is the difference between ophthalmology and optometry?

Agnesian HealthCare Marketing & Public Relations
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Optometry vs. Ophthalmology

Written by: Adam Strittmatter, DO Ophthalmologist with Agnesian HealthCare

There are several differences between the two providers. An ophthalmologist is a surgeon, and can diagnose and treat all eye concerns, both medically and surgically. They can also prescribe glasses and contact lens. An optometrist cannot perform surgery, but can diagnose and treat most medical eye issues, prescribe glasses and fit contact lenses.

Another major difference is education. An ophthalmologist has completed four years of college premedical education, four years of medical school, one year of internship and three or more years of specialized medical and surgical and refractive training and experience in eye care. During residency, they receive special training in all aspects of eye care, including prevention, diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions and diseases.

Doctors of optometry complete their four-year undergraduate studies before entering optometry school, which consists of a four-year curriculum and includes at least two years of clinical training.

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